DRUM MEDIA: Black Flag Column (Issue 345)

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 04.07.13 | Issue # 345




There is one act I never thought I’d have the pleasure of writing about in this column, and that’s Black Flag. But, just a week after I submitted the first installment of my fortnightly ramblings, the legendary punk hardcore group announced they would be touring Australia for the first time ever this November as part of Hits & Pits 2.0, which hits Amplifier and Capitol Sunday 24.

No one saw that bombshell of an announcement coming, and while it may not be the best line-up or reincarnation of the band, it’s Black Flag. It’s as simple as that. I could fill this entire magazine talking about the tour of the year, but the amount of punk and hardcore news that has unfolded in the past fortnight has been ridiculous, and thus renders my Black Flag banter terminated.

In another surprising announcement, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have set up a voting system to determine where they’ll be playing when they venture over to Australia this November. What does this mean exactly? Well, Saturday 16 November they’ll either be playing Perth, Hobart or Adelaide. It’s all decided by the fans, so if you want to see them hit Perth, head to the GiggedIn.com July 9 and vote. By voting, you’re committing to buying a ticket if your state wins. If you’d like to keep them away from your home, vote for another city. After seeing them at Soundwave 2009, I’d gladly pay the $30 to keep them out. Adelaide, you have my vote.

Speaking of Soundwave, AJ Maddah has confirmed via a tweet (does he know any other way of communicating?) that the Warped Tour line-up will go public next Wednesday, July 10. Maddah has got to be one of few eligible for Twitter-induced carpal tunnel. It’ll be interesting to see how the line-up shapes up to the US Warped Tour, which is currently touring The Used, Reel Big Fish, The Story So Far, Goldfinger, The Amity Affliction and more. No doubt he’s preparing for the whining from fans when the bands get announced. Taking on Maddah in a Twitter war is like poking a wild bear with a stick. It should be very interesting.

If you missed the announcement a few months ago, or need a reminder, legendary ‘80s New York hardcore band Youth Of Today will be in Australia soon. Not as well known as the Hits & Pits headliners, they were also important in the development of hardcore. Breaking up in 1990, they reformed in 2011, and you can catch them at Amplifier Tuesday 9 July. If you only go to one hardcore gig this year, this should be the one. But, if you’re not so enthused on live music (what’s wrong with you?), you’ll be happy to know there’s an unbelievable amount of new releases on the horizon.

AFI have signed to Republic Records on which they will release their ninth, and at this stage untitled, record later this year, ska party starters Less Than Jake are in the midst of mixing their new record with Descendents’ Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton, and Laura Jane Grace has revealed Against Me! have finished tracking their new record, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. What’s interesting about the new Against Me! record is, without a permanent drummer and bassist Andrew Seward leaving the band in May, the new record has been recorded with Fat Mike (NOFX) on bass and Atom Willard (The Offspring, Angels & Airwaves) on drums. Should make for an interesting listen – lyrically and sonically.

New Jersey’s Saves The Day have released Remember, the first single of their upcoming untitled record, which was funded by fans via Pledge Music. Their campaign was cost effective for both band and fan, creative and fun.

What other artists seem to do wrong – Eskimo Joe being a prime example – is ask for too much and don’t offer enough in return. Eskimo Joe and Zach Braff don’t need the money they’re trying to raise, and their rewards are somewhat pathetic. Saves The Day are in a dying scene, any fan help goes a long way, and it’s clear they appreciate it. No doubt this will come across on their new record.